10 minute recipe! Once you taste this fresh and flavorful Black Bean and Corn Salad, you'll want to serve it at every summertime barbecue and picnic.
When you need a summertime potluck recipe, this black bean and corn salad will do the trick every single time. The ingredients list is short, the flavors are fresh and delicious and it only takes 10 minute to make. All of that adds up to a side dish that is bound to become a favorite in no time!
The first time I made this easy black bean corn salad recipe, I divided it into large canning jars and squirreled it away in the fridge. A few hours later, my younger son arrived home from school, found one of the jars in about 10 seconds flat and plowed through about half of the jar, scooping up the salad (or salsa!) with his favorite black bean chips. Clearly I got something right with this recipe!
What you need for this black bean and corn salad:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Black beans: I use canned black beans for convenience’s sake, but cooked dried beans work well, too. If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse well in a sieve.
- Corn: Cooked fresh corn is best, but (defrosted) frozen corn can be used in a pinch.
- Bell pepper: Red bell pepper adds a great pop of color. Orange or yellow bell pepper can be substituted.
- Avocado: Fresh, creamy avocado adds fantastic flavor and texture.
- Green onion & cilantro: Fresh herbs perk up the flavor. I'm not a fan of raw red onion, but feel free to use that instead of green onion if you prefer.
- The dressing: The 5-ingredient dressing is so simple to put together. You need extra virgin olive oil, fresh lime juice, cumin, agave nectar and kosher salt.
How to serve this corn and bean salad:
- The obvious way to serve this is straight-up as a salad. During the summertime, it's fantastic alongside grilled chicken, shrimp skewers or grilled salmon.
- Follow my son's lead and pull out your favorite store-bought tortilla chips or make a batch or your own. Change the name from "salad" to "salsa" and use the chips to scoop it up.
- Grill and slice some chicken breasts, or make some Instant Pot Shredded Chicken. Serve the chicken and the black bean salad together in corn tortillas and top with queso fresco.
Tips for making this black bean and corn salad:
- For salads that include avocado, I typically add the avocado right before serving to stop it from turning brown. However, thanks to the lime juice in the dressing and some well-sealed jars, the avocado looked fresh even 24 hours later. That being said, if I was serving this to guests, I would be inclined to add the avocado no more than a couple of hours in advance to make sure the texture was ideal.
- If using fresh corn, either boiling or grilling the corn will work. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut off the kernels using a sharp knife.
- While using fresh corn is ideal, good-quality frozen corn works very well in this recipe. Defrost the kernels at room temperature or in the microwave before adding them to the salad.
- This salad can be made ahead of time, as long as it's covered well and refrigerated. See the note above regarding the avocado.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can this be made ahead of time?
Having make-ahead salad recipes on hand is ideal for summertime cooking and entertaining. This recipe is no exception.
With one caveat, this salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, provided that it’s enclosed in a lidded jar or resealable container.
The caveat is the avocado. As I mentioned above, the lime juice in the dressing slows down the browning process for the avocado. However, the avocado tends to become mushy and start to brown after a day. If you intend to eat the salad after 2 or 3 days, I recommend chopping and stirring in the avocado just before serving.
Can I leave out the cilantro?
Cilantro adds fantastic flavor and you just can’t beat the taste of a cilantro lime dressing with avocado. However, cilantro has a soapy taste to some people. If that’s the case for you, use flat-leaf parsley instead.
Is this salad vegan?
Yes! As long you use agave nectar rather than honey (which is not vegan) in the dressing, then this salad checks off all of the boxes.
Other potluck salad recipes:
Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the black beans, corn, red bell pepper, avocado, green onion and cilantro.
- Pour over the dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, agave nectar, cumin and salt.
This post was first published on June 12, 2019 and updated on June 3, 2021.
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